The Day the Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi movie with an eco-message: an alien named Klaatu wants to wipe out mankind to prevent further destruction of the planet, so it’s fitting that the flick (in theaters Dec. 12) is 20th Century Fox’s first green production, having employed hybrid vehicles, recycled and biodegradable materials and paper reduction on set. “There was a lot of effort that went into making it a true green show,” says director Scott Derrickson, who had to make some adjustments in following the paperless program. “Storyboards became complicated because they were all digital, so I never knew who had what. There was no notebook to carry around and that became confusing,” he explains, nevertheless happy to do his part.
The movie’s star Keanu Reeves says he does “all I can” off the set, which includes recycling, adding solar panels to his home, and his involvement in rainforest conservation. His co-star Jennifer Connelly drives a Prius, recycles, and tries to turn off lights in empty rooms. “My husband is better at it than I am,” admits Mrs. Paul Bettany. Director Derrickson traded his SUV for a hybrid, but believes that such carbon footprint-reducing moves “are not going to solve the problem,” which he thinks is an issue for our leaders to tackle: “The larger solutions are going to come from larger places.”
At the press junket for her new movie Seven Pounds -- she plays a dying woman involved rather complicatedly with Will Smith -- I had the chance to ask Rosario Dawson about her recent Environmental Media Awards honor and why being green is so important to her.
“I grew up in a squat on the Lower East Side,” explained the New York-born actress, “So I feel really grateful for the things that I don’t take for granted. And I know that if you start instilling that in your kids now, an understanding about water conservation and recycling and all of the things that are really necessary to make sure that the environment sustains itself, it will be normal to them. We need to be a lot more present and conscious and responsible for ourselves,” said Dawson, who’s terrific in the tragic (but ultimately redemptive) drama, which opens Dec. 19.
American Idol alumnus David Archuleta performed at the Holiday of Hope Christmas tree lighting and benefit for One Heartland in Hollywood on Dec. 6, and revealed his #1 ecological pet peeve. “Throwing trash on the ground bugs me so bad! The trashcan is not too far away, people! When my friends litter, I grab it and put it in the trash,” says Archuleta, who’s performing at radio station-sponsored holiday shows around the country this month.